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Budget chief catches flak on deficit commission

February 4, 2010 Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag found critics on both sides of the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday as he attempted to explain President Obama's proposal for a bipartisan commission to recommend ways for reducing the deficit. The skeptics included House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles...

Panel presses FAA on pilot fatigue rules

December 1, 2009 The Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday stepped up pressure on the Federal Aviation Administration to finish work on the long-awaited modernization of the agency's 40-year-old standards on airline pilot fatigue. "You know we are just about out of patience here," said Senate Commerce Aviation Operations Subcommittee Chairman Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., after...

FEMA is unable to measure funding benefits

October 27, 2009 A top Federal Emergency Management Agency official on Tuesday said he believed that $29 billion in Homeland Security funds spent since 2002 had made the nation better prepared for a terrorist attack, but admitted his agency had no way of definitively assessing the improvement. Testifying before the House Homeland Security...

Experts say policy 'czars' fall within presidential authority

October 7, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Constitutional experts mostly defended the legality of President Obama's practice of naming policy "czars" who are not subject to confirmation by the Senate and not readily accountable to congressional oversight committees. Bradley Patterson, a senior analyst for the Brookings Institution who served on the White House staffs of Presidents Eisenhower,...

Experts say policy 'czars' fall within presidential authority

October 7, 2009 Constitutional experts mostly defended the legality of President Obama's practice of naming policy "czars" who are not subject to confirmation by the Senate and not readily accountable to congressional oversight committees. Bradley Patterson, a senior analyst for the Brookings Institution who served on the White House staffs of Presidents Eisenhower,...

Transportation chief defends stimulus spending efforts

October 1, 2009 Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Thursday denounced criticism that economic stimulus spending on transportation projects has failed to make a dent in unemployment. Testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, LaHood said the transportation component of the stimulus program provided a huge boost for construction jobs. "We are driving down...

Panel, industry decry lack of progress on FAA's 'NextGen'

May 14, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The United States is in danger of falling behind small nations such as Mongolia in developing satellite-based air traffic control technology, the Senate Commerce Aviation Subcommittee was told Wednesday. Jim May, the president of Air Transport Association of America, said the United States is losing ground, even as the Airport...

'Plain English' bill advances in Senate

April 2, 2009 A bill intended to banish bureaucratic language from government letters, forms, brochures and other public documents was cleared Wednesday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, would require that government documents be written in plain English, defined by the measure...

Pressure grows on Obama to alter NASA space proposals

February 13, 2009 Amid signs it might be receptive to the idea, pressure is growing on the Obama administration to scale back former President George W. Bush's $104 billon Vision for Space exploration plan to replace NASA's Space Shuttle. "I expect there will be some changes [to the plan] and I think there...

Lawmaker lays down markers on fiscal 2010 shipbuilding budget

February 5, 2009 Weeks before the Obama administration sends a fiscal 2010 budget outline to Capitol Hill, House Armed Services Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee Chairman Gene Taylor, D-Miss., is reasserting his belief that the Navy should abandon the DDG-1000 next-generation destroyer. In a statement Thursday, Taylor dismissed the destroyer as "unaffordable" and...

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